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21 Oct, 2010 23:16

Saudi Arabia to do record $60 billion American arms deal

The Pentagon has announced a US $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, the largest arms sales in U.S. history if it goes ahead.

However, it has yet to be cleared by the American Senate and Congress, which has a month to raise any objections.

The Saudi's want new F-15 fighter planes, nearly 200 Apache, Black Hawk helicopters, as well as upgrades for its existing aircraft.

The sale would also include a satellite-guided "smart bomb" system and defence missiles.

Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics & International Studies at the University of San Francisco, says the Saudis do not actually need all these arms, there are simply a number of politically influential defense contractors in the US that would like to lay their hands on Saudi oil money.

“Basically, this is not about defense, this is about Pax Americana,” commented the professor when asked about recent America's reaction on the possible sale of defensiveS-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Iran and expressed no doubt that Congress would definitely approve the deal in its due 30-days time simply because “It requires a two-thirds majority of both houses of Congress to block such an arms sale and in more than 40 years since this law has been in effect there have been hundreds of arms sales and not once, ever in history, has the Congress blocked an arms sale and there is no indication it is going to happen this time.”

Saudi Arabia wants those arms because in classic dictatorial fashion the Saudi regime does not rely on the consent of its people to be governed and therefore needs all the arms it can acquire simply to maintain its presence in the region, believes David Keyes, who is Director of CyberDissidents.org

“Unfortunately, it is the continuation of the appeasement of the Saudi dictatorship. It is not America, alone which has funded and armed autocratic regimes in the Middle East. Russia as well this year announced US$ 1.8 billion to Libya and last year US$ 2 billion to Venezuela. 70% of the Iranian arms imports also comes from Russia and China has, unfortunately, been very bad on this issue,” Keyes acknowledged. “So, it really is a global phenomenon and it is do in no small part to the influence of Saudi Arabia throughout the west.”

“There is a belief in the west that appeasement is the best policy with the Saudi dictatorship,” he concluded.